Suicide risk rises with prostate cancer diagnosis

Study shows the need for counseling as part of care

After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide. NDP Leader Jack Layton underscored that fact in his news conference today, when he remarked that his father had the disease, and 25,000 Canadian men would be diagnosed with treatable prostate cancer this year. Another story today is reminder that men can hardly be expected to take that news in stride: researchers at Harvard and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston report that they discovered a 90 per cent increase in the risk of suicide among men diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to men in the general population. That’s 148 suicides in the group they studied, more than 340,000 prostate cancer patients diagnosed between 1979 and 2004. “Our study brings one more piece of the puzzle,” said one of the researchers, “which is the stress associated with the diagnosis itself.”


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